BREAKING: Ferguson V. Nurmagomedov And Poirier V. McGregor In The Works!
Ideas on the bouts…
The grappling community has been eagerly waiting for news on Khabib Nurmagomedov’s next bout. We have argued in the past that Tony Ferguson makes the most sense academically. However, a Conor McGregor rematch may make more sense financially.
In the modern world of MMA there seems to be an overabundance of interim titles and fights that make sense for only financial reasons. However, Dana White is championing an interesting idea for both Khabib and the light weight division. Chamatkar Sandhu, a journalist for ESPN reported, “Dana White wants Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier and Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson with the winners of both respective fights meeting each other down the road. Sign me up for that!”
A fight between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov makes sense for a lot of reasons. First, Tony is the former Interim UFC Lightweight Champ. He did not lose the title in a fight but was instead stripped due to injury. He holds the most consecutive wins in UFC lightweight history. Beyond status as former interim champion and an impressive collection of wins, the fight also makes sense because of Tony’s grappling pedigree. Tony holds the rank of black belt under Eddie Bravo in 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu. 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu is a form of Jiu Jitsu that does not use the gi and leverages many non-traditional techniques. Tony’s record is a testament to his submission ability. Out of his 24 wins, 8 are by submission. It would be an interesting clash of styles to see Tony’s 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu against Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Sambo. In addition to the UFC Lightweight Title, Khabib has the title of International Master of Sport in Sambo. There are two variations of Sambo: Sport and Combat. Both utilize a gi jacket. Sport Sambo has been characterized as similar to catch wresting. It allows leg locks but does not allow choke holds. Its primary focus is on throwing and submissions. Combat Sambo is similar to modern MMA with an emphasis on strikes and grappling. For the grappling aficionado, this clash of styles would be nothing short of spectacular.
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Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier also makes a lot of sense. Out of 10 fights at the 155 pound division, Dustin has had only 1 loss. He had another fight that was declared a No Contest. He took out the former king of the 155 pound division, Eddie Alvarez. That coupled with the bad blood from their last bout makes this a fight not be missed. For Conor the match makes sense also. In the UFC rankings, Dustin is ranked number 3; right below Conor. The bout gives Conor both a top ranked opponent and more time to makes adjustments to his game should a rematch with Khabib appear in the future.
There are still a lot pieces that need to come into place for the fights to become a reality. First, both Conor and Khabib are waiting on punishments from NSAC for the mayhem after their last fight. Also, there have been several fights scheduled between Tony and Khabib in the past. However, they never come to fruition due to injury or other reasons. Still these matchups make the most sense for the division, the fighters and the fans. In the modern world of MMA, it is rare to see these 3 interests align.
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